File picture: Pixabay

It was a mystery that baffled mother Samantha Robson – large sums of cash were regularly vanishing from her house.

The hairdresser, 39, and her husband Mark, 38, installed CCTV in a bid to crack the case, and soon caught the thief red-handed.

But any sense of satisfaction was swiftly replaced by shock – for the culprit was none other than Mrs Robson’s best friend. Tanya Sellars was filmed rifling through possessions, including the wallet of the couple’s eight-year-old son.

The women grew close after becoming neighbours in 2013, and Mrs Robson gave Sellars house keys so she could babysit and look after her cats while she was at work.

Mrs Robson handed the footage to police – and Sellars was given a suspended jail term for stealing a total of £1,390. Mrs Robson, of Macclesfield, Cheshire, said yesterday: ‘When we checked the cameras I couldn’t breathe when I saw her face on the screen. We watched her as she rifled through our son’s wallet. I was just so upset I felt sick.

‘Our children go to the same school and I couldn’t even take my kids there because I knew I would see her.’

Mrs Robson said she had noticed that wallets full of takings stored in the couple’s home safe did not contain as many notes as she expected. The couple had kept the key on top of the safe.

Mrs Robson said: ‘I confided in her [Sellars] about the money going missing and she encouraged me to leave my job, saying “I couldn’t work somewhere with a potential thief”.’

Sellars admitted burglary and theft at Liverpool Crown Court. Mrs Robson said: ‘She was taking money she knew was for the children’s birthdays or our holidays. She’s shown no remorse and it’s given me anxiety. It has made me question people’s motives in other friendships.’

Daily Mail